Tag Archives: Legacies: Lives lived / past progressive

In Memoriam Robert Devet

Robert Devet, 1954-2021

Robert Devet was born in Holland in 1954 to a progressive and anti-fascist family. His maternal grandfather, Hendrik Koch, was a family physician in a poor working class neighbourhood in Amsterdam who championed the rights of women to have control over reproduction and a political activist in the international communist movement who also moved to the Soviet Union for a period. After having been taken prisoner in 1941 by the Nazis fighting the German occupation of the Netherlands, he died in 1942 in the concentration camp Neuengamme near Hamburg. His name is on the national list of honour in the House of Parliament in The Hague. Robert Maarten de Vet was a son of Huibert A. de Vet (born in 1920) and Sophia Louisa Jacoba (“Pop”) Koch (born in 1918). Both his parents took part in the heroic resistance of the Dutch people in different ways. His father was an expert forger of documents used to get Jews to safety and his mother was a member of the communist party (CPN) during and right after World War II who worked its newspaper De Waarheid. In a reflection, his sister writes that “Especially his mother, but in a certain way also his father, were independent and outspoken people. They were neither conformist nor bourgeois. We like to think that all of us children have inherited some of this contrarian ‘family’ attitude.” As a youth Robert was involved with all kinds of progressive anti-imperialist activities such as those against the South African apartheid regime and the American invasion of Vietnam. [1]

Robert emigrated to Canada with his partner Maria van Gurp in 1979 and worked as a civil servant with Service Nova Scotia in information technology. In 2012 he began writing for the Halifax Media Co-op. Our colleague Hilary Lindsay notes that he authored over 300 articles between September 30, 2012 and December 19, 2015. He was without a doubt motivated by the direction of the anti-social, neoliberal agenda of the Nova Scotia government, which he experienced first hand. His last series of articles for the Halifax Media Co-op supported the almost two-year-long strike of newsrooms staff at the Halifax Chronicle Herald, part of the Saltwire media monopoly, which he backed up by participating on the picket line.

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Ireland: New Roger Casement statue drives reinterment campaign

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A three-metre tall statue of Irish revolutionary Roger Casement has been installed on the south Dublin coast near the place of his birth. Using cranes at Dún Laoghaire Baths, the bronze sculpture of Casement was placed high on a plinth.Born in Sandycove in 1864 to an Anglo-Irish family, Casement was hanged for treason for his part in the 1916 Rising. Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council noted that Casement’s last sight of Ireland was from the boat departing its harbour as he was transferred to London to stand trial.

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We had forgotten that he was mortal: Mikis Theodorakis dies

Mikis Theodoraki

(Kathimerini) – Mikis Theodorakis, a towering figure in Greek music who was instrumental in raising global awareness of Greece’s plight during the 1967-74 military dictatorship, died on September 2 at the age of 96.

President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said Theodorakis was a “pan-Hellenic figure” and at the same time “a universal artist, an invaluable asset of our musical culture.”

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215 – In Memoriam (Video)

Created by Jeunes pour le Renouveau Démocratique (Youth for Democratic Renewal in Quebec, Canada). In tribute to the memory of the Indigenous children, August 23, 2021

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This Day. The assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko

Exactly three years ago, on August 31, 2018, the head of Donetsk People’s Republic in Eastern Ukraine, Alexander Zakharchenko, was assassinated.

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Hardial Bains – A Man of Revolutionary Action

82nd Anniversary of the Birth of Hardial Bains, August 15, 1939

Hardial Bains
On August 15, we celebrate the birth, life and work of Hardial Bains, founder and leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). Hardial Bains was, above all else, a man of revolutionary action. He came to Canada as a youth from India in 1959 and immediately integrated with the life of the working people in British Columbia and took up the struggles of the student youth with whom he shared weal and woe.
• Hardial Bains – A Man of Revolutionary Action
• A Biographical Sketch

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Honour to the life and work of the legendary leader of the Cuban people

Cuba today, which has withstood so much yet contributes so much to the well-being of humanity, is a testament to Fidel’s vision for humanity.

On the 95th Anniversary of the Birth of Fidel Castro, August 13, 1926

August 13, 2021 marks the 95th anniversary of the birth of Fidel Castro, the legendary leader of the Cuban people and hero to oppressed peoples the world over. On this occasion, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends warmest greetings to the Cuban people and their leadership who live out the call Somos Fidel! (We Are Fidel!) and carry forward the revolutionary struggle embodied by Fidel. Although Fidel died nearly five years ago, the strength of the all-sided socialist nation-building project that he founded and led can be seen in Cuba today as a new generation of Cubans heroically defends the Revolution from the stepped-up criminal and inhumane economic blockade and attempts at counterrevolution by the U.S. imperialists, in the midst of a global pandemic.

Cuba today, which has withstood so much yet contributes so much to the well-being of humanity, is a testament to Fidel’s vision for humanity. Cuba embodies a project which permits the human personality to flourish and practices human rights by upholding the right of a people to exercise control over their destiny.

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In Memoriam Walid Bahlawan, June 5, 1936 – May 29, 2021

In Memoriam Walid Bahlawan, June 5, 1936 – May 29, 2021

I was saddened to learn of the loss of Walid Bahlawan. He was a man whom one only has to meet once and yet is a friend for life. I had the opportunity to meet him when he visited our farm some years ago with a mutual friend. He had read our Dossier on Palestine and we had an animated discussion about his homeland and the current struggle of his people. He appreciated the beauty of nature and asked informed questions about the methods and yield of agriculture in the area. I was not surprised Walid had become a communist after emigrating to Canada, as it is little discussed how many Palestinian workers and peasants did so during their heroic fight for national liberation in the 1940s. I heard later that he had expressed interest in a return visit which unfortunately never materialized. Here is a poignant tribute to Walid from CPC (M-L):

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Ho Chi Minh – Historic leader of the Vietnamese people and founder of modern Vietna

On May 19, 1890 Ho Chi Minh was born | Reflection by Steve Rutchinski

Mosaic portrait of Ho Chi Minh, created for the 2017 APEC Summit in Vietnam.

May 19 is the 131st anniversary of the birth of Ho Chi Minh, historic leader of the Vietnamese people and founder of modern Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh is celebrated not only by the Vietnamese people, not only by revolutionaries and communists but by thinking, enlightened people the world over for his contributions to humanity.

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Bobby Sands’ Hunger Strike Diary

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Forty years ago today, Bobby Sands began his hunger strike. In order to fight Thatcher’s policy of criminalisation and secure their status as Irish political prisoners, he and his comrades were willing to fast until death. He died 66 days later, followed by nine of his comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice. In doing so, they changed the course of Irish history. 

He recorded his thoughts for the first seventeen days, setting them down for as long his mind was clear. This is his hunger strike diary. Continue reading

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150th Anniversary of Birth of W.E.B. Du Bois. The Legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois – Paul Robeson

W.E.B. Du Bois in 1946

William Edward Burghardt “W.E.B.” Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. His stands as a political activist, human being, author, editor, sociologist, historian and Pan-Africanist earned him a place of great honour as an American leader second to none. W.E.B. Du Bois did his studies at Humboldt University of Berlin, Harvard University, Harvard College, Fisk University and the school of life. He died at the age of 95 in Accra, Ghana, on August 27, 1963.

On this occasion, we are posting the tribute to Dr Du Bois of Paul Robeson, another great American leader, second to none. Continue reading

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Ireland: Isolated but unbowed – Frank Stagg’s hunger strike

Irish republican volunteer Frank Stagg died on hunger strike for rights as a political prisoner in an isolated British jail on the Isle of Wight, 12 February 1976, 45 years ago this week. The story of that sacrifice, by Jonathan O’Meara.

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In almost every decade of the last century, Irish republican prisoners held in jails in Ireland and England have been forced to embark on hunger strike as a last resort in support of their demands for political status. The second of the 12 republicans to die on hunger strike during the latest phase of struggle was Volunteer Frank Stagg. Continue reading

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Today is Robbie Burns Day

Today (January 25) is Robbie Burns Day. 25 January 2021 marks 261 years to the day since Scotland’s national poet (1759-1796) was born. His polemics against the exploitation, injustice and oppression of his time enraged the establishment and won him enduring love from the peoples of all lands.

burns_statue_Halifax.600x840 The statue of Robert Burns in Halifax’s Victoria Park Square is the centre of innumerable political rallies., as this one in October 2006 against the apartheid wall in Occupied Palestine | Photo courtesy of and copyright 2006, Howard Harawitz, All rights reserved. Continue reading

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This Day. A reflection on Amílcar Cabral, Portugal and NATO

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Amílcar Cabral (1924-1973)

By TONY SEED

Originally published on January 20, 2019 on this blog and Stop Foreign Intervention in Africa , a website organized by activists opposed to foreign intervention in Africa on a military, economic, political and cultural level. 

On January 20, 1973, Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral, leader of the national liberation movement in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde in West Africa, was assassinated, just months before Guinea Bissau won its long independence struggle against Portuguese colonialism.

Guinea-Bissau was once part of the kingdom of Gabu, part of the ancient Mali Empire; parts of this kingdom persisted until the 18th century. Other parts of the territory in the current country were considered by the Portuguese as part of their empire. Portuguese Guinea was known as the Slave Coast, as it was a major area for the exportation of African slaves by Europeans to the western hemisphere.

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Flashback: Belgium’s ‘apology’ for assassinating Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Lumumba (July 2, 1925–January 17, 1961)

Patrice Lumumba (July 2, 1925–January 17, 1961)

I only gave voice to words of freedom and brotherhood, words they couldn’t accept. Just words. – Patrice Lumumba

Updated from an article published on this blog on March 22, 2016

Sixty years have passed since the assassination on January 17, 1961 of the first democratically-elected President of the Republic of Congo, Patrice Lumumba. His government sought to give citizens political rights and build a national economy independent of the imperialist system of states. The country’s rich resources were supposed to serve its residents instead of being exploited by foreign concerns. His assassination was carried out by Belgian troops for the CIA. Continue reading

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This Day. In Memory of Kevin Barry

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Kevin Barry was hanged at the age of 18 by the British in Mountjoy Jail on 1 November 1920, 100 years ago this week. He was the first republican to be executed by the British after the 1916 Rising, but his martyrdom inspired the republican side in the War of Independence. Continue reading

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The name’s Connery … Sean Connery.

Sean Connery died today at the age of 90. Much is being written on behalf of Hollywood with little reference to the famed actor’s ardent support for the just cause of democratic renewal, the right to self-determination, and Scottish independence. Reflecting his Scottish working class roots, he put his sentiments into action.

In 1992 he read the now-famous “Democracy Declaration of Scotland” before the massive ‘Scotland Demands Democracy’ demonstration held in Edinburgh, December 11 and 12, 1992 (pictured below). More than 30,000 people participated and endorsed the Declaration by acclamation. The Democracy Declaration united the new movement for a Scottish Parliament in the 1990s. Continue reading

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Anniversary of the birth of Amílcar Cabral

Born on September 12 in 1924, Amílcar Cabral led the fight to overthrow Portuguese colonialism in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde.

By Hakim Adi

Amílcar Cabral

Greatness is an attribute best judged by circumstances. In every era, humans have had many apparently insuperable problems to overcome. Those who are great are those who can find solutions to these problems, or who can inspire others to solve them. Continue reading

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This Day. Khaled al-Asaad

A martyr of modern science. Five years ago – on August 18th, 2015 – a prominent Arabic scientist, archeologist and researcher Khaled al-Asaad was executed by ISIS at the age of 83 years. Most of his life he devoted to researches of the ancient city of Palmyra (Syria). Due to his efforts, Palmyra became a UNESCO world heritage site. He also researched numbers of texts in the Aramaic language, translating them. He published 20 scientific works, mostly about results of archeological excavations and researches in Palmyra. For 40 years (1963-2003), he was the principal custodian of the Palmyra site. In 2003 he retired but continued to work there, publishing new researches. In 2015, prior to the capture of Palmyra by ISIS, the elderly scientist organized evacuation of the Palmyra museum, archeological artifacts and its antiquities. However, he himself was captured by ISIS. After weeks of tortures he didn’t reveal the location, where the evacuated antiquities were hidden. On August 18th, he was beheaded publicly on a square, being accused of participation in conferences with ‘infidels’.

Dmytriy Kovalevich

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Ireland: The re-interment of Peter Barnes and James McCormick

Remembering the Past 50th Anniversary

By MÍCHEÁL MAC DONNCHA

IRISH republicans Peter Barnes and James McCormick were hanged in Winson Green Prison in Birmingham on 7 February 1940. They were buried in the prison ground and plain crosses with only their initials marked the graves. It took nearly 30 years before relatives were allowed to reclaim their bodies. Continue reading

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In Memoriam: Edna Barker (1952-2019)

Edna Jean Barker

Edna Barker (1952-2019), Toronto Small Press Book Fair, June 19, 2010 | Photo by Don McLeod

Wordsmith, editor, sister, friend

Edna died on April 24, 2019 of assisted suicide, ending years struggling with a rare form of dementia that gradually robbed her of her vision, language and cognitive skills, and her ability to ride her beloved bike. Edna was my proofreading boss at Harlequin Books in 1976-77 and my good friend for 43 years. She was one of 26 co-founders of FEAC, now Editors Canada, in 1979, serving as secretary and advocate. She also advocated for Casey House and gay rights. Few realized how many dying friends with AIDs she cared for over the years. She advocated building more bike lanes, public libraries, and small houses, like the 12 that she’d owned and renovated on an editor’s salary. The best was the union hall on Barker Avenue, which she turned into a studio/home, and its backyard, into a big vegetable garden. Continue reading

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This Day. Quotes by Bobby Sands

bobbysandsdrawing.jpgToday is the 48th anniversary of the death of the heroic Irish patriot Bobby Sands (Irish: Roibeárd Gearóid Ó Seachnasaigh; 9 March 1954 – 5 May 1981) after 66 days on hunger strike at Long Kesh prison. We remember Bobby and his comrades and the blanket men and the women in Armagh. In his solemn memory, we publish a brief collection of quotes, some famous, some less well known. 

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Raven Wilkinson fought racism

On December 17, at the age of 83, ballet icon Raven Wilkinson, the first black woman to sign a contract with a major company, passed away | PEDRO DE LA HOZ

raven wilkinson in costume at the ballet russe de monte carlo.historicheroines.org

Raven Wilkinson in costume at the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo | historicheroines.org

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Freddie Oversteegen, gritty Dutch resistance fighter, dies at 92

Freddie Oversteegen was only 14 when she became an assassin for the Dutch resistance. She engaged in drive-by shootings from a bicycle and luring German soldiers into the woods, where they were executed. | National Hannie Schaft Foundation

By SAM ROBERTS

(September 25) – Freddie Oversteegen was only 14, petite with long braids, when she became an assassin and saboteur.

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This day. Assassination of Steve Biko

“The greatest weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

Bantu Stephn Biko, the leader of the Black Consciousness movement, died in Pretoria, South Africa on 12 September 1977. Born on 18 December 1946, he was the first president of the South African Students Organisation (SASO), which he co-founded in 1968 – a year of global protests; the anti-Vietnam war protests, huge civil rights demonstrations and student protests. Continue reading

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August 2018: Acts of Remembrance

 

Acts of remembrance play an important role for the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). For us, they bring to the fore the historic contributions the working class and people, their leaders, Communist Parties, heroic personalities and unsung heroes have given rise to. The Party has dedicated a Memorial in Beechwood Cemetery to its founder and leader, Hardial Bains who passed away in 1997, and to all the Party comrades who answered the call of the Party to join its ranks to fight for the New.

The photo above was taken on August 15 as visits to the Memorial began this year. It was taken in the early hours of the day, the sun rising to the east. Continue reading

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In Memoriam: Alain Charette

October 2, 1956 – August 14, 2018

With great sadness the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) informs you that our Comrade Alain Charette passed away on the afternoon of August 14, 2018, at the age of 61. Alain found out in December that he was riddled with cancer when he went for a checkup for back pain. He died peacefully, surrounded by family in Montebello, Quebec. Alain was profoundly admired and deeply loved because he devoted his life to humanizing the natural and social environment by elevating the lives of his fellow human beings to the best of his ability no matter what. Continue reading

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This day. George Jackson

September 23, 1941 – August 21, 1971

George Lester Jackson was an African-American activist, author and member of the Black Panther Party. When Jackson was 18 years old, he was sentenced from one year to life for stealing US$70 from a gas station. He spent the next 11 years in prison, eight and a half of them in solitary confinement. Continue reading

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Marking 60 years since the assassination of journalist Carlos Bastidas

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Injured Workers Day: On the 4th Annual Justice Bike Ride in Northern Ontario

Yesterday I read a really interesting and inspiring article in the Ontario Political Forum on the theme of standing up for injured workers in Northern Ontario. Four days of action, centring around the fourth annual Justice Bike Ride, a quite wonderful initiative. Continue reading

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